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African Women Leadership Network

As more and more women enter professional management and business leadership positions, their role in society and as key players in industry and socio-economic development become poignant. Their experiences are unique and life-changing while they seek to change the world they work and engage in. Generally, most of these women operate in male dominated environments and often there are very few of them.

Thus, given the very patriarchal nature of our society and with limited opportunities for women development and progression, it is no wonder that there is a limited number of women holding senior management positions in the corporate world and even in the public sector. This can be lonely and limiting at times. There is a need for these women to connect with each other and share experiences and strategies while being able to identify best practices in an impartial, safe, secure, nonpartisan and confidential environment. It is within this framework that we intend to establish the African Women Leadership Network.

The aim of the network is to create a community for professional and business women as a platform and an environment where they can contribute to the cause of women and the development of the country by sharing opportunities and skills; and mentor and coach each other and younger women as well as build their capacity and network with others who can help them come out of their shells and take the world in their stride. The network aims to be a non-partisan, independent and professional in its activities with the sole purpose of identifying and organizing women who have excelled in their careers and are willing to come together in order to share their experiences and help groom and mentor the next generation of women leaders.

Our network will be a big tent and will welcome women from all spheres and sectors, including industry, public sector, politics, civil society, media, academia, diplomacy and many more. We will take advantage of opportunities offered by information and communications technology in organizing ourselves. Some of the activities we hope to embark upon will include training programs, capacity building and career development programs, advocacy and mentorship programs


Organization and Program of Activities

The proposed structure of the Network is as follows:

  • Steering committee/interim executive committee made up of five members who will be responsible for the initial organization of the network, identifying and recruiting potential members.
  • Advisory Committee to be made up of not less than 15 leading and accomplished female professionals, business executives, public servants, politicians, academics, civil society operatives and diplomats. The steering committee/executive committee will be responsible for identifying and appointing the advisory board. The Board working with the interim executive will be responsible for producing a constitution and set out the rules and regulations governing the network, including terms of membership, etc.
  • Secretariat to be organized by interim executive committee and made up of three persons, including an administrative officer, a secretary and liaison. The secretariat shall be responsible for the day-to-day running of the network, including keeping an up-to-date roll of members and helping to organize meetings and any programs agreed upon by the steering committee.
  • Constitution and rules for the network shall be produced by the steering committee in consultation with the advisory board spelling out the aims and objectives of the network, various leadership positions, membership, activities, etc.
  • Executive Committee shall be constituted during the first general meeting of the network comprising President, Vice President, Secretary, Organizing Secretary, and Financial Secretary. The Executive Committee shall be responsible for making bye-laws and regulations as per the constitution for the smooth running of the network. The Executive shall also be responsible for exploring avenues for funding for the Network.
  • Membership of the Network shall be opened to all women at a senior level management position in private and public sector organizations, academia, civil society, media, and diplomacy. The Executive Committee shall exercise the prerogative of deciding who qualifies to be a member. The Committee shall also decide and review membership dues/levies from time to time. Members shall sign and adhere to a strict code of confidentiality.


Advocacy and Communication

This Institute will provide platform to share its research and other activities and to critically engage key stakeholders, including parliamentarians, ministers of state, senior public servants, members of the diplomatic corps, academia and civil society organizations through periodic policy forum (see appendix).

The Institute’s advocacy and communication will also involve putting together policy briefs and alerts, working papers and other research publications aimed at helping to educate and inform stakeholders.

Also as part of its mandate the Institute will also help to identify areas for policy intervention and help to develop policy briefs that could provide basis for legislative proposals for policy-makers and other stakeholders.